Although you can generate some extra income by using cash back credit cards (and making sure to pay off your balance in full every month), I recently discovered a website where it actually pays to save money rather than spend it: SaveUp.
SaveUp is a free tool that links directly to your bank account. Every time you either save money or pay down debt, the site issues credits which can be used toward opportunities to win cash and other prizes. Additionally, the site features a section that offers tips and advice on all things financial.
How It Works
Registration for SaveUp takes only seconds to complete. Simply type in your name and email address and choose a password. After you enter your account information, SaveUp securely connects to your financial institution and they monitor your balances to determine when credits are to be awarded. These credits can then be used for chances to win cash to pay off debt, gift cards, electronics, home or wardrobe makeovers, cars, vacations, and a jackpot worth up to $2 million. The more you save and pay down debt, the better your chances to win.
After signing up, you receive 200 credits every time you add an account. You also earn one credit for every dollar that you increase in your balance on any savings account, 401k, or IRA. Additionally, for every dollar that you reduce your balance on a student loan, car loan, or mortgage, you also receive one credit. Finally, you receive one credit for every dollar increase in your checking account, and one for every $2 paid towards your credit card balance.
SaveUp also offers credits for watching financial videos, completing quizzes, building your financial profile, and referring friends. Once you reach 10 credits, you can begin entering the weekly and monthly drawings for one of many prizes.
- Easy to Use. The website is not cluttered with advertisements or excessive pages to navigate. The site simply features one page where you input your account information, a page where you choose which prize you’d like to try to win, and a home page that tracks your overall money saved and debt paid.
- High Level of Security. SaveUp comes with the same level of security as banks and uses the same back end technology as TurboTax. And they never sell your information to other organizations. SaveUp does not store your personal information such as account numbers, address, or ID numbers. They are also monitored by McAfee, VeriSign, and TRUSTe.
- Offers a Variety of Rewards. The first drawing I entered was for a digital camera valued at $250. However, there are many high-value prizes as well; for example, a New York vacation, a car loan payment, and a holiday fund, each valued at $5,000.
- No Cost. SaveUp is 100% free. They require no sign-up fees, and there are no hidden costs or annual payments. They work with a variety of brands like Banana Republic, Virgin America, and GameStop to sponsor the majority of the prizes. SaveUp also makes money by providing leads and advertising to recommended financial products from banks and other institutions.
- Simplicity. You can sign up for SaveUp and enter the information of several bank accounts and credit cards in mere minutes. From there, you simply build credits and try to win prizes.
- Pays You to Save. There are very few websites that reward you for saving money. Rather than having to spend money to earn cash back from credit cards, SaveUp rewards you for keeping your money. This can be a great motivational tool to change your spending and saving habits.
- Informational. In addition to rewarding you for saving, SaveUp also features a blog that offers a wealth of informational articles ranging from tax tips, to home-buying tips, to vacation savings strategies, and more.
- Versatile. SaveUp can earn you credits on much more than just your savings account. You can also link up just about any debt-bearing or savings account. This includes student loans, mortgages, and credit cards, along with checking and savings accounts, 401ks, and IRAs.
- Can’t Transfer Money. You cannot transfer money from one linked account to another through SaveUp. You’ll need to login to your bank’s website directly to make any transactions.
- No Financial Management. SaveUp may reward you to save money, but they don’t offer financial management tools (such as bill pay notifications) beyond the information contained in their blog.
- Contest Entries Are Limited. Although you can certainly accumulate credits at a rapid rate, you are limited to entering in their drawings to three per day.
- Varying Odds of Winning. SaveUp divulges the odds of winning for many of its prizes, and although there’s always a chance, you shouldn’t expect to win big money from the site. For example, your chance of winning the $2 million jackpot is 1:170,230,452, similar to the odds of winning the Powerball lottery. With instant win tickets on SaveUp, your odds of winning are 1:25,000,000 for the $50,000 prize and 1:1,000 for the $5 prize. There are also drawings for certain smaller prizes, where the odds depend on the number of entries in a given time period.
Ultimately, I think that SaveUp is a fantastic motivational tool to encourage users to save money, and the more accounts that you enroll on their site, the better chance you’ll have to win a prize. Although SaveUp does have some limitations, they are very clear about what they do and don’t do. They do offer rewards for saving money, but they do not manage your finances for you. That responsibility is all yours. However, even if you never win a prize, you will always be rewarded by better financial management.
Have you had any personal experience with SaveUp? Which of the prizes are you looking to win?